Help us STOP the proposed Fast-track Approvals Bill

Help us STOP the proposed Fast-track Approvals Bill -

The secrecy around it and its unknown consequences mean we are concerned for Long Bay Regional Park!

The Fast-track Approvals Bill (2024) is intended to allow projects that are earmarked as regionally or nationally significant to circumvent environmental protection legislation like the RMA, Wildlife Act, Conservation Act, Reserves Act, Heritage Act etc. Its goal is to achieve outcomes that were in the past, or are likely in the future, prevented by public opposition or Court rulings. The projects for approval would be selected and approved by three ministers (Regional Development, Transport, Infrastructure) and the Minister for Environment would not be involved. There won’t be any public notification or right to submit – an undemocratic, secretive process! Currently there are 100+ projects on a list of possible projects, and the Government keeps this list a secret. Citizens won’t find out until the deals are done.

We are deeply concerned that under this bill only National Parks and marine reserves are excluded, but not Regional Parks, reserves, and Significant Ecological Areas. Therefore, we can’t rule out that this may pose a threat to Long Bay Regional Park. Our achievements for extensions of the Park (see below) and the wins achieved in the Okura Environment Court ruling could be lost - AGAIN. We are concerned that even the Council may not be able to stop the Minister giving the go ahead for a large development at Long Bay Okura under this Bill! The processes set up in the bill are completely top–down.

This fast-track bill could undo many of the Society’s achievements of the last 25 years along with those of many other groups. If you share our concern, please make a submission by April 19 on THIS LINK 

Organisations such as Forest & Bird and the Environmental Defence Society have draft submissions and media releases on their websites which help to make your own submission. You can also contact your local MP and any National Party MPs and tell them the bill should not go ahead as presented.

We all agree the present system needs improving but not at the expense of democracy and New Zealand’s greatest asset – our natural environment.